Sunday, 19 December 2010

A festive weekend

This weekend is such a tonic. Today I am having a lazy day, just sitting by the fire and catching up with correspondence. Earlier Ray took Jonathan to the station; it has been a real treat having him with us.

After a week full of medical appointments I was looking forward to the weekend and seeing the family, but unsure how much energy I would have. Fortunately, I was able to prepare the red cabbage, butternut squash and the trifle in advance. Jonathan took charge of the roast potatoes which he cooked in goose fat with garlic and fresh rosemary from the garden and they were really crisp and golden. I cooked a brace of pheasants, a mallard and sausages wrapped in bacon. To add to the wintry theme we had chestnuts and prunes soaked in Armagnac. Jonathan did all the carving and it all came together and was kept warm in the AGA.

Raymond did the running around picking up my mother and Margaret and we all enjoyed a festive meal with the rooms lit by candles and exchanged Christmas gifts. Some of Jonathan’s from Amazon he had arranged to be sent here (it is difficult to have them delivered to a flat) and he planned to wrap them but the snow has delayed some.

In the evening when my mother and Margaret had been taken home, we sat by the fire and watched Strictly Come Dancing and a documentary made by the company for whom Jonathan now works – Touching the Void. The latter was fascinating and beautifully photographed.

Raymond has some new outdoor boots and is trying them out by taking a walk in the woods. I had thought the snow was disappearing, but as I write I see a few fine flakes in the air so I hope it doesn’t come to anything. Jonathan is driving to the West Country later in connection with his work and we advised him to take a shovel. It is funny, after decades of mild winters, we have had two in succession which make us remember all the travel advice of our youth. Deliveries didn’t stop then; people used winter tyres and/or chains on their vehicles and postmen wore sensible boots.

Enough of nostalgia! There are so many benefits of living in the here and now including warm homes. Here’s to some relaxing days before Christmas.

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